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Hair Loss

Can Hair Loss Be Prevented?

Thursday, March 29, 2012 - 20:49

Contributing Author: Guy Slowik FRCS

There are many reasons for the loss of hair. Prompt treatment of health conditions that can lead to hair loss, such as thyroid disorders, can help prevent the hair loss from occurring.

The most common cause of hair loss is balding in men. Until recently, male pattern baldness could not be prevented. Today, the two medications used to regrow hair can also be used to prevent hair loss:

  • Minoxidil (Rogaine), which is applied to the scalp, may slow the loss of hair in 90% of men. Treatment is expensive, however - the cost is about $600 a year for the recommended use of twice daily. Any hair loss that is slowed by the medication will resume when its use is discontinued.
  • Finasteride (Propecia, Proscar), is a hair-promoting drug taken by mouth that is approved for use in men only. In clinical studies, it stopped hair loss in 83% of men. However, the medication can have significant side effects.

How-To Information:

Some everyday ways to help prevent hair loss include:

  • Eating a balanced diet and taking vitamin and mineral supplements to avoid losing hair due to a vitamin or iron deficiency.
  • Avoiding hair treatments that can damage hair; this includes bleaching, hot rollers, frequent perming, hot curling irons, and repeated brushing and combing under hot hair dryers.
  • Alternate hairstyles that put tension on hair, such as ponytails and braids, with looser hairstyles to avoid a constant pull that causes some hair loss.
  • When the hair is wet, avoid brisk rubbing with a towel; blot the hair dry instead.
  • Avoid vigorous combing and brushing the hair when it is wet, because its structure is more fragile then.
  • The old recommendation to brush hair 100 strokes a day should be avoided, as this damages hair.
  • Use wide-toothed combs and brushes with smooth tips.


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